Resilience and Self-sufficiency by Christina Kolokotroni, Architect
Foreword: Christina Kolokotroni studied Architectural Engineering at the Dept of Urban and Spatial Planning of the National Technical University of Athens, at the same time attending courses at Roma Tre University in Rome. Her uncle, George Michael Kolokotronis, manages the best, most sought-after construction team in the Mani, known for great diligence and speed in bringing building projects to completion.
Architecture in Greece is a reflection of the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. While Greece is renowned for its ancient architectural wonders, such as the Parthenon and the Temple of Apollo, contemporary and traditional architecture has also made its mark on the landscape.
Architecture and design play a crucial role in shaping the identity of a region. In the case of the Mani, its unique architectural style reflects the resilience and self-sufficiency of its inhabitants.
The architecture of Mani is characterised by its stone towers, known as pyrgoi, which form a extended constellation across the landscape. These towers served as defensive structures during times of conflict, with thick walls and narrow windows providing protection against constant invaders. The pyrgoi can be seen as not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, with their simple yet elegant design blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings.
Mani is also known for its modern and traditional stone houses. These houses are built using local materials such as limestone and slate, further connecting them to the land upon which they are founded. The design of these houses tends to be practical and efficient, with walls typically half a metre thick providing insulation from both heat and cold. In the Mani, houses are just about the most robustly-built, long-lasting structures in the world, so when you’re buying and developing property here, your investment is very sound indeed.
Furthermore, Mani’s architecture reflects its close relationship with nature. here, we design buildings to have spacious terraces or courtyards that allow residents to enjoy outdoor spaces while being shielded from the harsh elements. A garden filled with olive trees and fragrant herbs always enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.
Architecture and design in Mani serve as a testament to the resourcefulness and adaptability of its people. The blend of functionality, aesthetics, and harmony with nature creates a unique architectural style that has stood the test of time.